education

WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is campaigning for a big tax hike. Patrick is making the case that more revenue is needed to pay for things people say they want and need.

   Governor Deval Patrick, during a recent swing through western Massachusetts, pressed the case for raising  taxes to invest in education and transportation infrastructure.  Patrick met with students and faculty in a machinists training program at Springfield Technical Community College. The program prepares people to work in the precision manufacturing sector.

WAMC/Dave Lucas

A broad coalition of parents, educators and business leaders – representing all 47 public school districts from seven Capital Region counties – gathered last night in East Greenbush for an unprecedented advocacy rally titled "Your Public Schools in Fiscal Peril - Running Out of Time and Options.” 

According to new data, 4-year high school graduation rates in Massachusetts are on the increase, while the dropout rate is on the decline.

State officials recently announced that the 4-year graduation rate has improved in the Bay State for the sixth year in a row. JC Considine, a spokesman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said that the statewide dropout rate also decreased to 2.5% in the last school year.

Pat Arnow

Education and Medicaid comprise 50-percent of the state budget.  Governor Cuomo’s proposed education budget will continue several of the funding programs that were enacted in the last budget appropriation.

NYS School Boards Association Executive Director Timothy Kremer says he is favorably impressed with the Governor’s plan.

Photo by Kane5187/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Dartmouth College will stop awarding credit based on Advanced Placement exam scores starting with the class of 2018.

The Ivy League school in Hanover, N.H., currently awards some credit for AP and other test scores. But faculty recently voted to end the practice because they believe AP courses are not equivalent to Dartmouth classes. Though some students have used the credit to graduate early, officials say future students will still have other ways to do that.

Boston Globe Web Staff

Out of many of the proposals Governor Patrick made in this State of the State address, an increase in transportation & infrastructure spending in particular struck a chord in the Berkshires.

The Governor’s specific mention of connecting Pittsfield to New York with commuter rail service was of particular interest to Pittsfield state representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier….

Jared Benedict

The Vermont School Boards, and the Vermont Superintendents, Associations have released a five point agenda that they say will create a world-class education system in the state.

The agenda for a World Class Education system includes universal access to pre-K education, creation of Innovation Zones, personal learning plans, revision of the collective bargaining system and greater family involvement in education.  Vermont Superintendents Association Executive Director Jeff Francis says the state has a good public education system, but in a global economy it must be better.  Francis explains that the associations began crafting the five-point plan last fall.

A new law signed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will require all school employees in the Commonwealth to undergo both a state and federal background check. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

The law signed by Gov. Patrick titled An Act Relative to Background Checks would require teachers and other school employees to submit to a national fingerprint supported background review. Prior to the passage of the bill, school employees in the Commonwealth had only needed to submit to a background check on the state level.

Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves A Second Chance at Education is the first book to look at the schools that serve a growing population of “second-chancers,” exploring what higher education—in the fullest sense of the term—can offer our rapidly changing society.

A series of federal grants aimed at supporting additional learning time have been awarded to schools and other education organizations across Massachusetts. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program, or CCLC, was created in 2001 through the Federal No Child Left Behind Act. And very recently, winners in Massachusetts were announced to use award money to increase learning time, in an effort to improve student achievement.

Virtual Schools primarily teach students in online classrooms. And while many traditional schools use online teaching materials to broaden instruction, a virtual school usually operates for students unable to attend a regular school.

After accepting the recommendations of a panel appointed to study how public schools in New York can be improved, Governor Andrew Cuomo made it clear that not all schools are created equal, and they cannot be treated as such. The governor says schools in the poor, high-needs areas of New York must also provide student support in social services. Tim Kremer, the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, agrees with the governor but has concerns about where the money will come from. He spoke today with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

Victoria Choi / Flickr

Many of the recommendations released Wednesday have been proposed before but blocked by politics or lack of funding. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says those remain major obstacles.

Some of the ideas are already in place to some degree, including teacher competency tests and using schools to address health, mental health and other social needs.

Hank Gross

  There was a rally on Long Island, and then the bus departed for the Hudson Valley for a stop in Kingston before calling it a day in Albany.

The message was clear. New York State's schools are hurting and a lack of funding is making it difficult to educate our children.

“We are maintaining. We should be in good shape for the next couple of years,” said Maureen Bowers, a Kingston school board member, as she spoke in front the Educate NY Now Express bus that was making the run to Albany. 

 

Earlier this week, officials in five states announced they would be participating in a pilot program that would add hundreds of hours in classroom time to the school year. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more…

School for thousands of Massachusetts public school students is about to get quite a bit longer.

Massachusetts is among five states announcing today that they'll add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013. The initiative is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level. The other states are Colorado, Connecticut, New York and Tennessee.

New York Bus Tour for Education to End in Albany

Dec 3, 2012
AP Photo

  Hundreds of students, parents and teachers are getting ready to head to Albany to ask Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers for more money for education.

Organizers say 10-15 buses will depart from every corner of New York Dec. 5. Once in Albany, the group will march from the State Museum to the Capital.

The event is being called the Educate NY Now Express tour and is a response to deep cuts in state educationaid combined with a new property tax cap limiting what districts can raise through tax increases.

WAMC

 

 New York is among five states planning to add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar for some schools starting next year.

The three-year pilot program is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level. The other states participating are Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Tennessee.

Schools will work with parents and teachers to decide whether to make the school day longer, add more days to the school year or both.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

  The U.S. Department of Education announced on Monday that the Middletown City School District is among 61 applications selected as a finalist for the Race to the Top-District competition.

The program will provide close to $400 million to support locally developed plans to personalize and deepen student learning, directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness, close achievement gaps, and prepare every student for success in college and careers.

The Governor of Massachusetts has submitted a request to the state’s Commissioner of Higher Education that  formerly undocumented students living in the Commonwealth receive in-state college tuition at public universities and community colleges. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

An Arizona college has backed out a deal for a free 217-acre campus in Massachusetts, citing tens of millions in unanticipated costs.

Grand Canyon University informed the Oklahoma-based owners of the Northfield campus last week, five weeks after they were named the recipient after an extensive search.

The for-profit Christian college had planned to eventually host 5,000 students at the former campus of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, founded by 19th century evangelist D.L. Moody.

It’s been said that practice makes perfect, but only if you make the most of that practice. That’s the theme of the new book Practice Perfect. For many people, practice means hours at the piano when we were kids, or long and boring sessions that we would rather avoid.

A federal program that assists at-risk families in preparing their young children with the basic reading and cognitive skills they’ll need before entering kindergarten is expanding in the Berkshires. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more…

The embattled president of Connecticut’s Board of Regents for Higher Education has announced his resignation following an outcry over unauthorized pay hikes for staff members totaling $250,000.

Board President Robert A. Kennedy says the controversy had become a distraction from the board's work.

Republican and Democratic leaders of the General Assembly's Higher Education Committee had called for Kennedy's resignation.

Governor Dannel Malloy says Kennedy's decision is "the right one."

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the credibility of the central office of the Board of Regents for Higher Education for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system has been damaged by a flap over unauthorized pay raises.

Malloy said Thursday the board needs to conduct a review of what he calls "serious problems" and take appropriate steps.

According to a new report released by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, 1/3 of high school graduates in the Commonwealth are not prepared for college level work. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

A women’s college  in Massachusetts has received a substantial financial boost from the federal government.   It will mean an overhaul of the curriculum and new services to help ensure student’s graduate.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

National Book Award-winning author, Jonathan Kozol, has been working with children in inner-city schools for nearly fifty years and has been called “today’s most eloquent spokesman for America’s disenfranchised.”

His latest book is Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America.

Months after an adult learning center was shut down in Berkshire County after being denied funding by Massachusetts education officials, the Southern portion of the county is still without a program to provide for the area’s education needs. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

The Southern Berkshire Regional School District is beginning its search for a new superintendent, and is enlisting the help of an outside group to assist in the search. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports….

Pages